HARTFORD, Conn. — St. Patrick-St. Anthony Parish will host a one-day spiritual retreat in December for parents whose children have died. The Emmaus Ministry for Grieving Parents provides a warm and loving place offering compassion, comfort and community for those mourning a child.
The retreat will take place from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 7 at St. Patrick-St. Anthony Church. A donation of $50 per person or $75 per couple is being suggested. Scholarships are available. Participants are asked to register by Nov. 25 by calling 800-919-9332 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Emmaus Ministry began as the Pieta Ministry at St. Anthony Shrine in Boston. Organized by Diane and Charles Monaghan, the Pieta Ministry expanded beyond the Shrine, and has since served more than 100 attendees from nine states. Currently, the Emmaus Ministry offers one-day and weekend spiritual retreats, as well as monthly scripture readings and socials, to parents of all denominations.
“Many well-intentioned attempts have been made to assist parents in recovering emotionally from their loss, including psychotherapy and support groups,” according to the ministry’s website. “However, in an attempt to be all inclusive and ‘politically correct,’ the spiritual need or even existence of God is absent from many of these methods of treatment. We believe there is no healing without God.”
David Convertino, OFM, of New York City, serves on the Emmaus Ministry’s board of directors. He and Thomas Gallagher, OFM, pastor of the Hartford parish, and Thomas Hartle, OFM, Butler, N.J., minister as retreat companions.
“This was one of the most grace-filled experiences that I have had during my entire life as a friar,” said David, who served as the original retreat leader.
More information about the Emmaus Ministry and its upcoming events is available on the ministry’s website.
— Compiled by Maria Hayes